The Guide to Migrating Data to the Cloud
Why Use Cloud Services?
At one time, data network professionals used a cloud symbol on diagrams to represent the network of routers and other equipment that a data packet traverses to get from computer A to computer B. Eventually, the cloud came to represent not just network equipment, but also any computing applications and storage resources that reside outside the data center.
Some companies, most notably Amazon and Microsoft, built businesses around providing these “cloud” resources to subscriber companies. Their service offerings, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure, respectively, have gained immense popularity in a few short years - along with the general adoption of cloud services.
Enterprises are adopting cloud solutions because they have numerous advantages:
- Backups and security – Despite early concerns about hosting data and applications on someone else’s data center, cloud servers can be more secure than those in a local data center for several reasons:
- Automatic backup creation
- Current antivirus data protection
- Up-to-date security patching
- Rapid recovery from ransomware and other debilitating attacks
- High availability – In the event of a physical server failure in a cloud data center, another server (in the same or different data center) can be set up to seamlessly take over.
- Reduced costs – There's no need to buy or maintain server hardware in local data centers.
- Scalability – Resources can expand or shrink, sometimes automatically, as demands change.
These and other advantages have inspired businesses around the world to make cloud migration a key part of their digital transformation strategies.
There is a catch, however: Cloud migration isn’t easy.
Migrating applications and data to the cloud requires careful planning and execution that must be coordinated with the business to minimize disruption. For large projects, migrations may need to be executed in phases. The cloud also represents a new way of thinking about, designing, and managing computing resources. This means the IT department may need to acquire new skills. The fact is, there are many aspects of cloud migration. Data migration is just one aspect, and it’s important to do it right the first time.
In this guide, we'll break down a normally complex process into 5 steps and identify key considerations before starting a cloud migration project:
- Strategic preparation for migrating your data to the cloud
- Technical preparation of your cloud environment
- Data "wrangling", cleaning, and organization
- Transition planning
- Execution of your cloud migration
While most cloud technology providers have technologically comprehensive and detailed support materials for cloud migration, this guide is an excellent starting place for beginning your cloud migration project.